Monday, May 07, 2012

Real Question: Are Corporations Economically Distinct from the People Who Comprise Them?

Mitt Romney in this video states that: "Corporations are people."

Barack Obama responded: “I don’t care how many times you try to explain it – Corporations aren’t people. People are people," getting huge applause from a crowd in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday.

In this video below from LearnLiberty.org, economics professor Steve Horwitz answers the really important and relevant question: "Are corporations economically distinct from the people who comprise them?"


238 Comments:

At 5/07/2012 1:11 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Well, duh! of course corporations aren't people.

Individual people are people. When people are in a group (like a corporation, for example), they're no longer people. They lose all characteristics of people. They become dehumanized.

Unless that corporation happens to be a union. THEN, of course, a corporation is suddenly not a corporation but people!

 
At 5/07/2012 1:35 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Romney is correct, of course. But much of the voting population is so damned stupid that they won't understand what he is saying. When Obama taxes and regulations cause the value of their 401K accounts drop, they'll just blame "corporations" or "Wall Street".

I'm ready for Galt's Gulch. Anyone have a map?

 
At 5/07/2012 1:46 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

But much of the voting population is so damned stupid that they won't understand what he is saying.


You mean like the zoo animals that were heckling him?

"They go into the pockets.."

"Whose pockets?"

"The...uh...kangaroo pockets?"

i'm ready for Galt's Gulch. Anyone have a map?

I'm working on it. I'm not kidding either.

 
At 5/07/2012 2:12 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"I'm working on it. I'm not kidding either."

Sounds interesting...

 
At 5/07/2012 2:16 PM, Blogger Jon said...

He'd have us believe that corporate taxes are a real burden for ordinary people. Not so much the rich. All the people.

But who owns the stock? Does the minimum wage worker at McDonalds own stock? The top 1% owns like 42% of all the stocks, bonds, and mutual fund assets. When you apply a corporate tax it falls disproportionately to those owners. The bottom 50% of the income spectrum HAS NO STOCKS. It's not a tax on them. This is apologetics for the rich man.

Again, he tries to couch apologetics for the rich in terms that make it sound like he's really helping the poor. "If you tax the rich, they just pass on the cost to consumers. Tax them less and all us poor people will do better." Please. It's the old trickle down theory. Just give the rich man more and this is really going to help you all. Who can buy this tripe?

Here's what Will Rogers said about trickle down theories. "The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands." Why not redistribute to the poor? He'll buy food at the grocery store and give it back to the rich man anyway. Why shouldn't we instead try trickle up economics?

Or set aside the theories that you think sound plausible and actually look at the data. How did the US economy perform when the top mariginal tax rates were high and how did it perform when they were slashed? It's easy to compare. Contrast post WWII up until 1980 with 1980 until today. Trickle down theory is a spectacular failure. The only success was briefly after Clinton's tax hikes, then those were all reversed as Bush cut taxes again.

Keynsian capitalism is a record of major success. Friedmanite capitalism is a record of failure. At some point you need to look at the record.

 
At 5/07/2012 2:31 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

The top 1% owns like 42% of all the stocks, bonds, and mutual fund assets.

Those bastards didn't consume everything they earned and invested some of it? BASTARDS!!!! Take it from them! never mind that they already pay more taxes than the guy who saved and invested nothing.

It's not a tax on them.

The hell it isn't. Labour is around 50% of almost every business's costs. Where do you think the cuts are going to come to increase after-tax returns to investors come from?


Again, he tries to couch apologetics for the rich in terms that make it sound like he's really helping the poor

Oh, yeah. That's how I read "corporations are people". Doesn't everyone who speaks English?

Trickle down theory is a spectacular failure

Actually, it can't fail because it doesn't exist. I challenge you to go to the economics section of any bookstore and find a theory called "trickle down". Oh, hell, I challenge you to go to the bookstore and find a book on economics, full stop. Not having to correct your incessant blather would be so refreshing.

 
At 5/07/2012 2:47 PM, Blogger Paul said...

" How did the US economy perform when the top mariginal tax rates were high and how did it perform when they were slashed?"

How did the US economy perform when the rest of the industrialized world was a smoking crater? How did it perform when they recovered?

 
At 5/07/2012 2:48 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

re galt's gulch-

i think it may be on st kitts.

come on in. the water's lovely.

 
At 5/07/2012 2:54 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

comparing us top marginal tax rates is not terribly instructive.

the top rates were never paid by anyone back in the 40's and 50's. you just put the money offshore. the loopholes were huge.

those rates are pretty much totally incomparable with today's draconian tax policy and the vastly increased reach of our authorities.

they were only on some very vast fortunes as well.

in the 30's and early 40's the top tax bracket started at $2 million, which is more like 20 million in today's dollars. but, again, all you needed was an offshore holding co and voila, you paid zero.

 
At 5/07/2012 2:56 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

jon: "Why not redistribute to the poor?"

It doesn't work.

When potential workers are rewarded for not producing, they stop producing. When the link between production and reward is severed, the motivation to produce dries up.

When consumers do not have to make choices about what they wish to consume - when food and shelter are provided to them - they consume much more than they produce.

Redistribution simply does not work, Jon.

What motivates men and organizations to provide the energy, food, and shelter you consume, Jon?

 
At 5/07/2012 2:58 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Jon,
"Does the minimum wage worker at McDonalds own stock?"

The minimum wage worker is 17 years old and doesn't give a crap, so no.

As someone who has spent more years in the bottom 50% than in the top 2%, I can tell you I almost always had a 401k that was comprised of stocks and mutual funds...you're wrong, as usual.

Here are some more Will Rogers quotes since you seem to think he was a genius:

"Democrats always were a cheap lot. .... They would rather make a speech than a dollar. They cultivate their voice instead of their finances."

"Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf."

 
At 5/07/2012 3:08 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Question:

Government spending (excluding transfer payments) has increased by 576.1% since 1980, adjusted for inflation. Government regulation in the economy has grown by 155.6% since 1980, averaging a net gain of 3871 regulations per annum in that time period. Government spending (excluding transfer payments), as a percentage of GDP has grown from about 20% in 1980, to about 25% last year.

Where, exactly, is this "fredimanite limited government" you speak of that we've been living under for the past 30 years?

 
At 5/07/2012 3:12 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"But who owns the stock? Does the minimum wage worker at McDonalds own stock? The top 1% owns like 42% of all the stocks, bonds, and mutual fund assets. When you apply a corporate tax it falls disproportionately to those owners. The bottom 50% of the income spectrum HAS NO STOCKS. It's not a tax on them. This is apologetics for the rich man"...

Well gosh darn jon, you're right!

Why work for it like those 'filthy rich bastards' did when you can use the government to extort that wealth for you?!?!

Bravo lad! Bravo!

"Keynsian capitalism is a record of major success. Friedmanite capitalism is a record of failure. At some point you need to look at the record"...

Well jon since you can't point at a single example of successful Keynsian theory at work you might want to consider a different library to pull your research from...

Henry Hazlitt and the Failure of Keynesian Economics

 
At 5/07/2012 3:12 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yah, Paul, our resident communist is talking about that period of time when a bunch of FDR's Socialist/Fascist anti-business legislation was rolled back and the tax code was riddled with loopholes so that nobody ever paid anything approaching the top marginal tax rate.

morganovich,

Yes. But, it's too easy to get "rock fever" on one of those Carribean Islands. So, you have to escape to St.Kitts, but then go somewhere else.

A couple of years ago, we looked into moving our firm to the U.S. Virgin Islands to take advantage of the tax break. You only pay 10% of the U.S. Federal tax rate and there is no local or sales tax in the USVI. Property taxes are miniscule. AND you only have to spend 6 months of the year actually on the Island.

If we were a hedge fund, we would have moved to St. Thomas. But, as a BD, our obligations require better connectivity than the USVI could provide at the time.

You could immigrate to St. Kitts (renounce U.S. citizenship) and then live in Switzerland. You're close to all the trading centers in Europe and it's easier to trade Asia from there too. Depending on the Canton, Switzerland can be a surprisingly easy place to live. For my husband and me, doing that would physically locate us much closer to our families.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:12 PM, Blogger Regan said...

Being a musician, I have lots of liberal musician friends. They mean well but most have absolutely no ability to think for themselves. Every time that they bring up the topics such as, "corporations aren't people" or "raise the tax on corporations" I tell them to substitute the word "band" in place of "corporation."

Somehow a group of people who get together to make music are still considered people and should be afforded all of the usual constitutional protections (especially the first amendment) but a group who bonds together to produce a widget are no longer people and, hence, lose any protection under the constitution. Go figure.

I also tell them that if they had to pay a band tax in the same manner of the corporate tax and then also had to tax the dividends received by each band member they would be singing a different tune.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:20 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Regan, I like that. I'll try it out on some of the idiots I know who can understand what a band is.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:22 PM, Blogger Jon said...

the top rates were never paid by anyone back in the 40's and 50's. you just put the money offshore. the loopholes were huge.

The rich still paid a lot more then as compared to today. See here.

When potential workers are rewarded for not producing, they stop producing. When the link between production and reward is severed, the motivation to produce dries up.

Don't just spin it out of your head. Look at the data. How do more redistributionist societies fare? It's easy to just say you think society would fall apart if we had more redistribution. But often your intuitions turn out to be wrong. That's why it's important to actually look at how things have worked out.

So for instance in Haiti tax rates are really low. Low government regulations. No tariff restrictions. No redistributive taxation. Does that generate prosperity?

Of course it's not just Haiti. Most of Africa. Latin America. El Salvador, Colombia, Nicaragua. Basically the third world follows this method and has been following it for decades. The basis for your claim is that it just makes sense to you that redistribution is harmful, but you can look at where in the world it's been tried and where it has been removed and draw conclusions based on that. Don't just spin it out of your head. Maybe your intuitions are wrong. The data can reveal that.

As someone who has spent more years in the bottom 50% than in the top 2%, I can tell you I almost always had a 401k that was comprised of stocks and mutual funds...you're wrong, as usual.

You're right. The bottom 50% of the population has SOME of the stock. Like half a % of all the stock. The top 1% owns closer to 50% of all the stock. So sure, you have SOME. But corporate taxes fall to individuals based on the amount of ownership you have. The more ownership the more you pay. The rich OVERWHELMINGLY are paying corporate taxes. To spin it like it's some sort of enormous burden on the poor is absurd.

Reminds me of the old commercials for cigaretts. "It's good for you." We do it all for you. We want to cut taxes on corporations to help the poor little guy. Yeah right.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:29 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Jon.

Information about McDonald's 401K and profit sharing plans

"McDonald's matches each dollar an employee contributes to the 401(k) plan with three dollars, up to the first 1 percent of pay. For employees age 21 and older who have been with the company for at least a year, the company also matches a dollar for each dollar saved on the next 4 percent of pay. Workers may also receive a discretionary profit sharing match, which was 3 percent last year. The frontloaded matching formula is designed to help employees without a lot of extra income to save to start building their nest egg. "That's a tremendous way to inspire employees at all income levels to participate," says Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, a Chicago investment firm."

With a 3 for 1 employer match, any McDonald's employee would be a fool to not participate. McDonald's USA claims to have a 96% participation rate among company employees.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:33 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"The rich OVERWHELMINGLY are paying corporate taxes."

Of course they are, Jon...you just made a statement that wasn't true so I pointed it out.

Now if you'd like to talk about how the bottom 99% pays more for every day items when taxes are raised on corporations proucing typical products, I suppose we could talk about that as well.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:34 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"So for instance in Haiti tax rates are really low. Low government regulations. No tariff restrictions. No redistributive taxation. Does that generate prosperity?"

Now, let's discuss the other 99,000 idiotic policies in effect....property rights, anyone?

 
At 5/07/2012 3:35 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Well, I very much recommend everyone click on Jon's link. David Friedman sets him straight in the comments. Or at least tries to. Jon is a resistant strain of useful idiot.

On his own blog, John Cochrane tackles claims similar to Jon's in a post called How to Lie With Statistics

There's no need to spin anything when Jon's already spun it for you, mmmmkay?

For instance:

So for instance in Haiti tax rates are really low. Low government regulations. No tariff restrictions. No redistributive taxation. Does that generate prosperity?

See? Confiscatory taxes and redistribution are the key to prosperity. There are no other problems in either Haiti or Somalia.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:37 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

....property rights, anyone?

Yes, Mike. Jon thinks he has a right to your property. Next question!

 
At 5/07/2012 3:39 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I am not understanding three major arguments that are being put forth here:

1) It will screw over the rich, so who cares of some small people get hurt by it (the argument that the rich overwhelmingly own stock, so it's ok to tax it because not enough small people own it)

2)Limited government=no government. Not sure where the leap in logic comes from.

3)Taxes do not trickle down into higher costs for consumers. Basic economic theory tells us that producers try to shift as much as the tax burden onto consumers as they can through prices. How much of the tax burden depends on the elasticity of demand for the good.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:41 PM, Blogger Regan said...

He'd have us believe that corporate taxes are a real burden for ordinary people. Not so much the rich. All the people.

But who owns the stock? Does the minimum wage worker at McDonalds own stock? The top 1% owns like 42% of all the stocks, bonds, and mutual fund assets. When you apply a corporate tax it falls disproportionately to those owners.


Of all the possibilities of where the burden of a corporate tax ultimately falls, it is least likely to be the shareholder.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:41 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

?Jon: "To spin it like it's some sort of enormous burden on the poor is absurd."

It was explained very well above by others. I do not think you are ever going to try and understand simple economics.

For the benefit of anyone who might think jon knows what he is talking about:

When the costs to produce are increased through taxation, producers are going to produce less. When you tax something, you get less of it.

How does that happen? Here's one way: A project which was once marginally profitable for a firm now becomes unprofitable due to higher taxes. So the firm doesn't undertake the once-marginally profitable project.

So what happens to workers who would have worked on the marginally profitable project? They get laid off or they don't get hired in the first place.

So, Jon, who gets hurt when higher corporate taxes increase the costs of doing business? The workers who lose jobs. It's pretty simple.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:46 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Methinks,

"Yes, Mike. Jon thinks he has a right to your property. Next question!"

That actually made me laugh...so I'll have to give you the very rare, genuine "LOL".

 
At 5/07/2012 3:49 PM, Blogger Mike said...

J. Murphy,

As always, good posts....too much to quote, but this sums up yet another argument I have had a hard time putting into so few words:

"Limited government=no government. Not sure where the leap in logic comes from."

 
At 5/07/2012 3:57 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"So for instance in Haiti tax rates are really low.."

Let's play a game where everyone has to drink a shot every time Jon mentions Haiti and calls it a free market nirvana. Meanwhile, the Index of Economic Freedom charts Haiti 142nd out of 179 countries.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:58 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Jon Murphy writes:

Where, exactly, is this "fredimanite limited government" you speak of that we've been living under for the past 30 years?

I didn't say "friedmanite limited government." Friedmanite policies do lead to expanded government. That's not the intentions, but that's the way it goes. It's kind of like austerity in Europe. They need to slash welfare service to reduce the deficit. So they do it and what happens? The deficit goes up. Because the economy contracts further with the reduced welfare expenditures, reducing tax revenue, and driving the deficit further up.

Republicans generally expand government. They talk a lot about reducing the size of government, but they do the opposite. What they really want to do is slash government WHERE IT HELPS POOR PEOPLE and expand government WHERE IT HELPS THE RICH. So that's what they do.

Friedman wants reduced government services, but the people in the countries where he dominated didn't like it. What to do? You need to build torture chambers and concentration camps. That's what they did in Chile. That costs money. They had to grow the military. Friedman wanted deregulated finance. So they did that, producing speculative bubbles like what happened here in 2008. So they generated a brief euphoria, but that culminated in a collapsed banking sector which required state bail out. Government grew to where it was bigger than what it was under the Socialist, Allende. Yeah, that's the way it goes.

 
At 5/07/2012 3:59 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

As always, good posts

Thank you, Mike. You are far too kind.

I just don't understand how asking the government to cut back means we're entering a stone age.

Let's take this corporate tax rate, for example. All we are asking is to lower it to where the rest of the world is. Lower it to the level it was under Clinton. Now, I was young back then, but I don't remember the Clinton Administration being of of anarchy, chlorea, and famine.

Also, doesn't the argument seem contradictory? We want corporations to stop sending jobs overseas, to keep production here in America and keep supplying us with jobs and goods. Then, out of the other side of our mouth we say they are the cause of the economic turmoil. They are the cause of our political discourse. They make all the decisions from boardrooms and speakeasys. They aren't paying their fair share.

Why would anyone want to stay at a place they are portrayed as the ultimate evil?

I have a question: what would happen if all our businesses went on strike?

 
At 5/07/2012 4:02 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Mike, feel free to tell us about property rights in Haiti. And remember that when you talk about property rights, the distinction between the Socialist and Capitalist is about who controls the means of production. So it's not about whether you own your home or toothbrush. It's about the machines in the factory. Are you suggesting that in Haiti investors aren't able to retain ownership of the means of production and in fact the workers control the means of production, like under Socialism?

 
At 5/07/2012 4:03 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Jon-

Have you ever read Friedman? I'm guessing you have not. Or, if you have, you have greatly misinterpreted what he said.

Friedman never advocates for the use of force in the application of his ideas. Just because some of his followers do, does not mean they are following his advice.

Are those who commit acts of evil in the name of God really righteous?

Do the terrors of Stalin, Pot Pol, Chairman Mao discount everything Marx has to say?

Do the Westborough Baptist Church speak for God?

Of course not. It's a strawman argument, pure and simple.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:06 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

One more challenge:

Show me where, exactly, Friedman advocates the use of force to promote his ideas.

I don't want to hear "oh this guy did this" or "that guy did that."

No. I want you to point exactly to me where Milton Friedman says something along the lines of "the ends justify the means"

 
At 5/07/2012 4:07 PM, Blogger Matt said...

I have done some research on corporate personhood. From what I understand, this was created by court decisions very early in US history and some of these cases were about allowing lawsuits against coroprations.

For those pushing for an end to corporate personhood: Beware of unintended consequences, you may end up making corporations immune to liability lawsuits.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:08 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I have a question: what would happen if all our businesses went on strike?

Do you mean investors or workers? If workers go on strike that's a problem, because everything stops. However if investors go on strike, no big deal. They don't do anything anyway. We don't need them.

Mitt Romney sleeps all day and gets most of the money because he's an investor. If he died, nothing would change. Production at the companies he owns would continue as before. He does nothing. But he gets most of the money.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:09 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"They need to slash welfare service to reduce the deficit. So they do it and what happens? The deficit goes up."

What a load of crap.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:09 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I didn't say Friedman advocated violence. He may or he may not. I'm just saying his policies have been implemented and when they were the people didn't like it, so violence was used.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:12 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I'm just saying his policies have been implemented and when they were the people didn't like it, so violence was used.

No. Perversions of his policies were implemented. Totally different.

Just as anti-homosexuality is a perversion of the Bible, what you are talking about is a perversion of Friedman's work.

Friedman advocated the freedom of choice. Any application of violence is inherently unfree. Therefore, it cannot be an application of this policies

 
At 5/07/2012 4:14 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Mitt Romney sleeps all day and gets most of the money because he's an investor."

Mitt Romney is 65 yrs old. After a lifetime of producing, he's receiving returns on his investments. My, how that makes Jon seethe!

Jon wants to outlaw investors, but the people in the US wouldn't like it. What to do? You need to build torture chambers and concentration camps. That's what they did in Cuba, the USSR, and China.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:16 PM, Blogger Jon said...

For Paul:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/21/fiscal-policy-and-growth-in-europe/

 
At 5/07/2012 4:19 PM, Blogger Jon said...

No. Perversions of his policies were implemented. Totally different.

Nonsense. "The Brick" was delivered immediately to Pinochet following the coup, and it was written by Chilean economists that were literally trained by Friedman himself. After a couple of years of implementation and the economy a shambles Friedman himself flew to Chile and told them to implement his policies even more aggressively, which they did, culminating in the banking collapse.

Of course the suffering people that dared object were being murdered in the process.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:19 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

JM

This is the level of economic ignorance you're up against.

Do you mean investors or workers? If workers go on strike that's a problem, because everything stops. However if investors go on strike, no big deal. They don't do anything anyway. We don't need them.

And he's not sure what Friedman said or didn't say, he just knows it was all bad and since Jon only reads history re-written in the Soviet tradition, he's pretty sure violence was used to impose liberty...and stuff.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:23 PM, Blogger Jon said...

What, are we denying the existence of Pinochet's concentration camps and torture chambers now?

Here's Friedman sitting with Pinochet during his visit in 1975:

http://www.hacer.org/latam/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/PinochetFriedman.jpg

 
At 5/07/2012 4:26 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

JM,

I can't tell what tangled mess of half-truths and economic ignorance Jon is pushing around his plate right now, but it might have something to do with Friedman's recommendations taming inflation.

Friedman's policy prescription was to aggressively battle inflation. He believed (and I find his argument convincing) that you cannot successfully fight hyper-inflation incrementally. Of course, aggressively fighting the heinous hyper-inflation caused by Allende's regime meant that the economy would immediately go into a severe recession before recovering.

And of course, now Jon suddenly cares about the suffering objecting people.

When we were discussing Mao, Stalin and Hitler, then it was all about Hitler's love of dogs and Stalin's and Mao's alleviation of poverty.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:29 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Mitt Romney is 65 yrs old. After a lifetime of producing, he's receiving returns on his investments.

That doesn't change what I said. If he died and willed the stock to his cat nothing would change. He doesn't contribute to production. He is not needed. His cat is just as good. And yet he gets the bulk of the money. These are just facts. Like them or not this is the way it is.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:30 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yes, Jon, thanks for opening our eyes.

There's Friedman with Pinochet, which obviously means that none of us can deny that Pinochet is a murderer.

Prancing from fallacy to strawman, I will now become Jon for a moment. But, Pinochet alleviated poverty by killing all of those people. When they're dead, they're not impoverished anymore!

He was just following in the tradition of your heros: Mao, Stalin, Che, Catro, etc.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:30 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

so Pinochet was terrorizing the people so they could have economic freedom and liberty?

that sounds a lot like some other famous dictators..... eh?

folks in this blog point out how bad Democracy is because people vote politicians that give them things.

so Friedman was saying that giving people stuff was killing liberty but when you take it away, they don't like it.

Implementing Friedman's policies requires running over top of the wishes of the people it's supposed to help...

France is a good example of what happens when you have a system where people can vote and are not subjugated... to "help" them, eh?

 
At 5/07/2012 4:32 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

He is not needed. His cat is just as good. And yet he gets the bulk of the money. These are just facts. Like them or not this is the way it is.

Yes, you moron. His cat will be able to make excellent investment decisions and I'm sure that kitty's portfolio is bound to outperform. Why, a tree could allocate capital.

You are seriously one of the dumbest things I've ever come across.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:32 PM, Blogger Its GSATT said...

Jon; "Do you mean investors or workers? If workers go on strike that's a problem, because everything stops. However if investors go on strike, no big deal. They don't do anything anyway. We don't need them."



Your dumb. Just stop typing.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:33 PM, Blogger Regan said...

If he died and willed the stock to his cat nothing would change. He doesn't contribute to production. He is not needed.

Right. Because it's possible to produce without capital....wait....what?

 
At 5/07/2012 4:38 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Yes, you moron. His cat will be able to make excellent investment decisions and I'm sure that kitty's portfolio is bound to outperform. Why, a tree could allocate capital.

The tree can easily embrace the decision not to sell, like the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, and the tree is getting the bulk of the money. Dividends are paid even if the stock price drops.

That tree is brilliant. Where would we be without it!! Just as critical as Romney.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:40 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Your dumb. Just stop typing.

It's "you're" not "your".

 
At 5/07/2012 4:42 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Here's Friedman sitting with Pinochet during his visit in 1975."

Oh, well that proves everything. Friedman gave Pinochet economic advice, therefore he's responsible for the torture of Jon's commie friends.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:45 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

the problem with Friedman's policies is that they won't be accepted in democratic societies so if you want them to go forward.. you actually have to subjugate the people.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:46 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Jon,

..."remember that when you talk about property rights, the distinction... is about who controls the means of production..."

No, this is your distinction. Clearly you have little understanding of how basic property rights effects prosperity. I for one don't have the time or inclination to explain them to you just to find that you still don't/won't grasp the concept.

Personal wealth has a great deal to do with who owns your home and/or toothbrush and I'll leave it at that. Of course, I am talking to someone who believes businesses can be born and thrive without investment, so...we're done here.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:47 PM, Blogger Mike said...

BTW,
Does anyone happen to have Mitt Romney's cat's number?
My portfolio hasn't lived up to my expectations and I could sure use some help.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:50 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

The tree can easily embrace the decision not to sell, like the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, and the tree is getting the bulk of the money.

Okay, ladies and gents, this blithering moron now thinks that trees make decisions.

I would say that it's curious that if a tree can allocate resources perfectly, it's a wonder that Russia's best and brightest (who alleviated all that poverty and made into space) couldn't, but this is so profoundly stupid that I think he's finally outdone the most retarded creature I've ever met.

This is what slobbers over Gnome Chumpsky and Naomi Klein. This diarrhea is their intellectual product.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:52 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

the problem with Friedman's policies is that they won't be accepted in democratic societies so if you want them to go forward.. you actually have to subjugate the people.

The problem with you, Larry, is that you have a computer and no brain to go with it.

 
At 5/07/2012 4:56 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

yes..and we knew that the "moron" and other favorite words would eventually appear .... pretty intelligent behavior coming from those who say they are intelligent, "logical" and correct, eh?

 
At 5/07/2012 5:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Friedman was an idiot .. believed in theories that did not work.

he's got some folks that insist he was right even though the proof says otherwise.

Not a one of the industrialized countries in the world subscribe to Friedman's beliefs and the other countries that adopted crashed and burned...

all the industrialized countries are characterized here as "socialist"... right?

France had to chance to "choose" Friedman and what did they do?

Just about any country that allows "liberty" to vote - rejects Friedman.

tell these truths here and the pitchfork and torch crowd gets "riled".

 
At 5/07/2012 5:08 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Larry,
Would you say that the US embraces the popular works of Friedman more than any other country?

 
At 5/07/2012 5:09 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Friedman was an idiot .. believed in theories that did not work."

Like what, Larry? Please enlighten us.

"France had to chance to "choose" Friedman and what did they do?"

They chose to steer into the skid, hopefully putting to rest the "pendulum theory" I often hear optimists touting. We may very well do the same thing here in November and seal our own doom.

 
At 5/07/2012 5:10 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Mike, what are you asking? This pinhead doesn't know what a Milton Friedman is, let alone what ideas he might or might not have had.

Larry's still working out supply and demand.

 
At 5/07/2012 5:14 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Paul, both choices were steering into the skid for France. France is way past the tipping point. The other two options were Le Pen's party - a French version of Nazis - or Sarkozy. Technically, Sarkozy is on the right.

But, this is France. To be on the right in France means that you're only slightly to the left of Bernie Sanders.

Friedman's ideas (none of which Larry knows anything about) were nowhere to be found.

 
At 5/07/2012 5:15 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " Would you say that the US embraces the popular works of Friedman more than any other country?"

not according to many here... when they are not defending Friedman.

the index of economic liberty rates the US 10th.

ALL 10 of the countries rated high have universal health care except for the US.

you'd think that would put us first, eh?

we don't have much of what Friedman advocated.

The only way you could get what Friedman advocated would be to IMPOSE it on people because they'd not willingly adopt it in a representative Democracy.

that's the basic problem with the "theory".

 
At 5/07/2012 5:15 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Methinks,

That's pretty much why I'm asking him the question.

I'm asking, out of the most popular of Friedman's thoughts (his more widely published), which country uses more of that philosophy in policy arguments.

 
At 5/07/2012 5:16 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Larry 4:56 PM: "yes..and we knew that the "moron" and other favorite words would eventually appear .... pretty intelligent behavior coming from those who say they are intelligent, "logical" and correct, eh?"


Larry 5:00 PM:"Friedman was an idiot..."

 
At 5/07/2012 5:21 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"The only way you could get what Friedman advocated would be to IMPOSE it on people because they'd not willingly adopt it in a representative Democracy."

Eh, could be right. “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

 
At 5/07/2012 5:23 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: Friedman was an idiot.

I distinguish between using Ad Hominems against those you dialogue with directly - and disagree with than an assessment of someone who is not dialoging with you.

even then.. I'll accept criticism for stepping over the line.

too bad most of you won't even when you're talking directly to others.

 
At 5/07/2012 5:23 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

no country that I know of follows the core of Friedman's theories.

there are countries that "follow" some of what he advocated but again - you cannot implement what he advocated - on a free society.

they want an economic policy that provides prosperity and Friedman's approach has only damaged economies.

Can you (would you) name the top 3 countries in the world that practice his policies and how their economies have done under his policies?

I see theories here... and not much else...

name the top 3 countries that are truest to what Friedman advocated.

I do not see many.

 
At 5/07/2012 5:28 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

It's like trying to read something oozing out of a slug.

 
At 5/07/2012 5:33 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"..too bad most of you won't even when you're talking directly to others."

Don't write idiotic things and you won't be called an idiot. I know that's asking alot, probably too much.

"Can you (would you) name the top 3 countries in the world that practice his policies and how their economies have done under his policies?"

Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia are generally prosperous countries. Cuba, Zimbabwe, and North Korea are not. See a pattern, Larry?

 
At 5/07/2012 5:33 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Larry,

You'll forgive me if I'm going about this in too vague a way. My point is; you can take a basic thought that most associate with Friedman, such as "Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it...." or his thoughts on taxation, and you'll see that the more you'd ascribe that thought to a country (in prevalence), the higher they are on that list of economic freedom.

I know I'm about to get my brains beat in on Friedman minutia...but that's ok, I'm going out for dinner now.

 
At 5/07/2012 5:39 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Don't write idiotic things and you won't be called an idiot. "

well I think what you are writing about Friedman is idiotic.

Are you saying that Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia are operated according to Friedman's theories?

I do not see how as all three have social insurance.. and health care.

did Friedman advocate those things.

Do all 3 have a central bank operated by the govt?

is that what Friedman advocated?

the idea that you get to decide the terms of idiot is pretty funny.

I'd say you are a smart ass more than anything else who knows a lot less that you think you do.

 
At 5/07/2012 6:16 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Larry,

The economic freedom list you keep bringing up uses:
rule of law, limitations on gov't, (lack of) regulations and open markets to determine the ranking.
These are Friedman....just because these countries don't do everything the way Friedman saw it means nothing.

How could you hold up a chart full of things you think are important, and then say the man who preached the ideas was an idiot? Take a step back, deep breath, count to ten....if you have any self awareness, you'll be forced to admit that's pretty idiotic.

 
At 5/07/2012 6:16 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Are you saying that Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia are operated according to Friedman's theories?"

I'm saying they are closer to the ideal than Jon's favorite, Cuba.

"Do all 3 have a central bank operated by the govt?"

Um, all 3 have central banks. As a monetarist, a central bank would be a key Friedman requirement....

 
At 5/07/2012 6:30 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Would you say that the US embraces the popular works of Friedman more than any other country?

Let's see. A huge military industrial complex. State funded R&D. Half of all medical expenses are paid by the government. Social Security, disability. Massive work place regulations. No, the US is not Friedmanite, though it did take a turn in that direction under Reagan.

Which state would have none of the above Keynsian problems? Haiti for one. Any African country. Latin America. Low taxes. No regulations. A free reign for investors with robust property rights. No concern for the environment. No tariffs to speak of.

There's another name for countries that most closely follow the Friedman model. The Third World.

"But the corporate front group known as the Heritage Foundation sees it differently." So what? They are propagandists. Read what they say about Haiti. "It doesn't have enough regulation on banking." Things that require more government. Haiti doesn't have big enough government. That's the Heritage criticism of Haiti. In other words, they are too much the ideal Friedmanite framework.

 
At 5/07/2012 6:37 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Mike - he was not an idiot..agree. My bad.

I actually subscribe to much of what he advocated but there is no country in the world that really practices what he universally advocated.

Most of the modern industrialized countries are, by his standards, "socialist" because they have public schools, health care, social insurance, subsidies, price supports, and monetary policies much more interventionist than he supported.

there are no major industrialized countries that truly follow his theories... in large part.

He did point out what he felt was a difference between economics and politics but he also admitted that politics is what controls economic policies ultimately.

He contributed to the body of knowledge..no question.

 
At 5/07/2012 6:44 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I think Jon has it right on 3rd world countries.

you'd think those countries are less developed and more able to follow Friedmans theorems but instead they are backward and stunted and it's not one of two.. it's MOST if not all of them.

Heritages' own Economic Freedom index pretty much rates low most all 3rd world / developing world countries and the reason given here is that they are all run by thugs but with Friedman's policies to succeed..you really need a thug type government to impose his policies.

 
At 5/07/2012 6:58 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Which state would have none of the above Keynsian problems? Haiti for one."

Everybody drink!

 
At 5/07/2012 6:59 PM, Blogger mike k said...

"Which state would have none of the above Keynsian problems? Haiti for one. Any African country. Latin America. Low taxes. No regulations."

Any African country? How have private property rights in Zimbabwe fared in the last 10 years?

 
At 5/07/2012 7:01 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Larry: "I actually subscribe to much of what he advocated.."

then...

Larry: "...you really need a thug type government to impose his policies."

Larry: "most of the modern industrialized countries are, by his standards, "socialist" because they have public schoolshealth care, social insurance, subsidies, price supports, and monetary policies much more interventionist than he supported."

Our Larry is a veritable expert on Milton friedman and all his "theorems".

There's definitely something backward and stunted around here, but it's not third world countries,

 
At 5/07/2012 7:10 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Wait a sec...

Larry and/or Jon, there is something I am not understanding:

Milton Friedman advocated for limited government in economic and social planning. Why do you need a "thug" state to impose limited government? Isn't that contradictory?

 
At 5/07/2012 7:13 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:14 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Heritages' own Economic Freedom index pretty much rates low most all 3rd world / developing world countries and the reason given here is that they are all run by thugs but with Friedman's policies to succeed..you really need a thug type government to impose his policies.

Well that's exactly right. You see it over and over. The corruption in Vietnam was astonishing. For instance we'd deliver planes to our propped up government in the South. They'd sometimes disassemble them and sell the metal for scrap, and just pocket the money. What kind of a person works with a foreign government that is carpet bombing villages from his home country? The kind that is corrupt. Those are the ones in leadership.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:15 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Not to people who think that Romney's cat or a tree is as good at resource allocation as a person, JM.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:15 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

there you go again Methinks..

one would think there would be at least ONE 3rd world country in this world that is not run by thugs that would be an idea place to implement Friedman ideas.

I do not claim to be an expert on any of this, in fact, ignorant on some of it (but again remind you that you also suffer from the same problem but won't admit it).

but the irony here is that you cannot truly implement what Friedman advocates in a country that has representative govt.

so you're advocating something that appears to be not a realistic expectation.

the only way you implement Friedmans policies without the force of govt, is by convincing enough people to vote for them.

About 10% of Conservatives voted for Ron Paul.

So "liberty" also means the right to reject Friedman....

representative govt is essentially incompatible with many (maybe most) of Friedmans core beliefs yet you call people who point this out - "idiots" and "morons" and accuse them of supporting mirror opposite policies (which is not true either).

it's just not realistic to believe that Friedmans policies will be implemented....IMHO but if there was a country to do it.. the best candidate is a developing nation.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:20 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I'm sorry, but I do not understand. Why is a representative government incapable to promote limited government?

 
At 5/07/2012 7:21 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Milton Friedman advocated for limited government in economic and social planning. Why do you need a "thug" state to impose limited government? Isn't that contradictory?

The right wing hates democracy. Check Bryan Caplan's "The Myth of the Rational Voter." People generally aren't selfish and cruel, like Ayn Rand thinks they should be. Starving elderly people often receive empathy from most people. This might sound strange to the right wingers here, but a lot of people want a system in place that prevents that kind of thing, and right now Social Security and other welfare state measures seem to be the only feasible way. Yeah, I don't expect to get as much out of SS as I would get if I saved it myself and earned interest. But that's OK. I like that people on disability get help, or that elderly people that maybe got laid off a little early and had their savings wiped out are able to get a meal.

For Bryan Caplan this can only mean that me and people like me are irrational. Rational people are selfish. Most people aren't rational, worshiping at the alter of property rights. They keep trying to have their voices heard. So if you are committed to a cruel, selfish world you have to beat back the people, because people generally don't agree.

But that's what the state is for in Friedman's world. Enforcing property rights. If you want to eat from the fruit of my tree, screw you. Even if the apple is falling to the ground to rot, screw you. It's mine and if I want to give it to you as charity maybe I will. But I might just call the cops and have you thrown off my property. Property rights above all else, and plenty of security personnel to enforce it.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:23 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Any African country. Latin America. Low taxes. No regulations. A free reign for investors with robust property rights. No concern for the environment. No tariffs to speak of."

More of Jon's sweeping, bullshit statements. One could spend hours with examples to the contrary. Here's one: Latin America has no tariffs? That's interesting considering just last year the US Congress passed the Colombian and Panamanian FTA's.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:23 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Milton Friedman advocated for limited government in economic and social planning. Why do you need a "thug" state to impose limited government? Isn't that contradictory?"

I'm reporting what is said here in CD when I posit that the best candidate nation for Friedman's policies would be 3rd world or developing.... countries relatively free of all the added-on constraints of older, more "optimized" countries.

I'm told that most if not all 3rd world countries are run by "thugs" and that there are no real good candidates ....

Singapore (1965) and Hong Kong (1997) are relatively "new" (reinvented) countries but not really 3rd world.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:25 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" I'm sorry, but I do not understand. Why is a representative government incapable to promote limited government? "

well..you have to get approval from voters and what they say here in CD is that once people start getting "benefits" from the govt that they won't give them up.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:28 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"The right wing hates democracy. "

Yes, you've got us pegged. We need to heed the examples of your heroes Fidel and Hugo.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:29 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I see your point, Jon.

I also see you have greatly misunderstood the arguments put forth by Friedman and Caplan.

It's not about being mean and selfish.

You are right that people don;t want to see Grand-Ma starving on the side of the road. But does that mean we have the right, nay the duty, to compel others to give up their money? Absolutely not.

let me put it this way: I am in debt. With my schooling and credit cards, I owe about $10,000.

I propose we put it to a vote. All in favor of forcing Jon to give me a portion of his income to pay my debts so I don't end up on the street?

The majority will rule.

What Caplan et al argue is in that situation, since the voters have no real burden of cost, they will make the choice to compel you to pay my debt.

Look, what it really comes down to is this: should one group of people be compelled to become, in part or in whole, slaves of another group?

 
At 5/07/2012 7:31 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Property rights above all else, and plenty of security personnel to enforce it."

Says Jon who would erect a police state to stamp out private investment.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:32 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Oh, I understand you now, Larry.

To rephrase, if we wanted to start a "Freidman" experiment in present time, we'd want to do it in a 3rd world nation. But since those are run by thugs, it would have to start there. Am I interpreting you correctly?

 
At 5/07/2012 7:33 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

"Property rights above all else, and plenty of security personnel to enforce it."

Which begs the natural follow-up question: why do you need a police state to enforce property rights? you'd need some cops, sure, but wouldn't a judiciary be more important?

 
At 5/07/2012 7:34 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Look, what it really comes down to is this: should one group of people be compelled to become, in part or in whole, slaves of another group? "

that might be true for you school debt but few are going to watch you suffer and finally die for 3 days outside of an ER.

Now.. they WOULD in a 3rd world...

 
At 5/07/2012 7:35 PM, Blogger Jon said...

That's interesting considering just last year the US Congress passed the Colombian and Panamanian FTA's.

"No tariffs to speak of" means extremely low tariffs, not zero tariffs. Tariff rates in the US during our exceptional growth period were about 50%. It was a similar story in Japan, South Korea, Britain during their expansion (1820's).

I see a lot of assertions to the effect that my claims are bull shit. But documentation? Not so much.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:36 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" "Property rights above all else, and plenty of security personnel to enforce it."

would those be GOVT security or PRIVATE?

In 3rd worlds..it is private.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:36 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

This might sound strange to the right wingers here, but a lot of people want a system in place that prevents that kind of thing

Oh...do they? Well, dippy, they already have one. It's a system of reaching into their own pockets and helping out the poor - which plenty more "right wingers" do than "left wingers". Left wingers are natural thieves. You lot want a system that reaches into other people's pockets to provide you with the benefits to which you think you are entitled.

For Bryan Caplan this can only mean that me and people like me are irrational.

Bryan Caplan considers dopes who think trees and cats can efficiently allocate capital are irrational? What the hell is the world coming to!?!?

 
At 5/07/2012 7:37 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Of course, none of this answers the question: why aren't corporations people?

If we want to hold them accountable for people crimes, such as that case in Nigeria of human rights violations, or of any sort of human-resources type crime, then they must be people.

I mean, if corporations are not people, then they cannot commit crimes and therefore cannot be sued.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:38 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" To rephrase, if we wanted to start a "Freidman" experiment in present time, we'd want to do it in a 3rd world nation. But since those are run by thugs, it would have to start there. Am I interpreting you correctly? "

yes... the industrialized countries are a lost cause or at least much, much more difficult to roll back govt...

who is going to vote to get rid of social security, Medicare or Universal Health care?

 
At 5/07/2012 7:40 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Alright, I gotcha Larry. Thanks for taking the time to walk me through that.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:40 PM, Blogger Jon said...

You are right that people don;t want to see Grand-Ma starving on the side of the road. But does that mean we have the right, nay the duty, to compel others to give up their money? Absolutely not.

Says you. What if the public doesn't agree? How are you going to get them to go along? Billy clubs.

Look, it's pretty obvious that investors want low wages. That means more profits. What's a huge threat to that? Unionization. That's why you need a terror state. You have to murder those union organizers. Ford actually provided Ford Falcons in Argentina for the security forces, who would just show up at your house and "disappear" you. If a contingent of Ford Falcons was out front, you were screwed. Torture ocurred right in the Ford plants. Union leaders would be paraded through the factory before taken to a private room and tortured. You can pump up the profits that way, that's for sure.

Friedman's not telling Ford to torture people, but what he is calling for is stronger investor rights. A freer hand for wealthy foreign investors. And this is the consequence.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:47 PM, Blogger juandos said...

" However if investors go on strike, no big deal. They don't do anything anyway. We don't need them"...

Wow! I think we've got another winner from jon...

Dude! The investors pull their money out (going on strike) the company will have no operating capital within a very short while...

The facility shuts down and the workers are out on the street...

Yeah jon, 'don't need no stinkin investors'....

What then jon?

 
At 5/07/2012 7:47 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

That's right, Jon. Not only is every one of your posts filled with fact-free bullshit, but we have an interesting dilemma here.

It appears you take issue with Ford doing exactly the same thing (albeit on a much smaller scale) that your beloved "poverty-alleviating" Stalin and Mao did.

Thank God you and your ilk such a fringe nutjob that no sane person will ever listen to you and you will forever be marginalized along with the other fruitcakes.

 
At 5/07/2012 7:49 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"who is going to vote to get rid of social security, Medicare or Universal Health care?"...

I will in a heartbeat larry g...

 
At 5/07/2012 7:51 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" I will in a heartbeat larry g.."

uh huh... you and how many others?

2.5?

:-)

 
At 5/07/2012 7:54 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"How are you going to get them to go along? Billy clubs."

Hey, it works for your hero Fidel.

"No tariffs to speak of" means extremely low tariffs, not zero tariffs."

THen you're still full of crap. I can tell you firsthand tariffs on certain imported good, especially cars, was/is especially high in countries like Colombia and Costa Rica.

"Tariff rates in the US during our exceptional growth period were about 50%."

I assume you're discussing the 19th century when taxes and regulation were low. And as Don Boudreaux noted, "labor unions enjoyed no special legislative protections; outright industrial and agricultural subsidies were rare; nontariff taxes were either low or nonexistent; antitrust obstructionism wasn’t even possible until 1890, with the passage of the Sherman Act (and even then, it was largely held in check by the courts for a few more years); and there was no SEC, FDA, FTC, EPA, or any of the other alphabet-soup bureaucracies that haunt the economy today. (The first such agency—the Interstate Commerce Commission—wasn’t created until 1887.)"

 
At 5/07/2012 7:59 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Starving elderly people often receive empathy from most people. This might sound strange to the right wingers here, but a lot of people want a system in place that prevents that kind of thing..."...

Well then jon why don't these hypocrites put their money where their supposed sympathies lie?

I'll tell you why, like all stupid liberal ideas (the only kind of ideas liberals ever have), liberals want someone else's money to finance said stupid idea...

We need to look no further than the abysmal failures of our own welfare system to see the painfully obvious...

 
At 5/07/2012 8:04 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"uh huh... you and how many others?"...

Well larry g it aint rocket science, it fact its no more complicated than the arithmetic they should be teaching in 7th grade...

Is this your admission that many if not most of our fellow citizens are to stupid to grasp the concept of, "we're bankrupt and we're going out of business"?

I applaud if you if that's what you're saying...

 
At 5/07/2012 8:15 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Is this your admission that many if not most of our fellow citizens are to stupid to grasp the concept of, "we're bankrupt and we're going out of business"?"

hadn't worked in any other country so far, eh?

I admit ignorance before I posit an opinion about the rest of the country but many, if not most folks do not understand the difference between deficit and debt much less what "structural deficit" means.

When you spend twice as much as you take in - it ought to be hair raising...

but we've argued before if we could balance the budget JUST with entitlements and I do not think it is possible ...fiscally or politically.

It took a decade to get here.. just a short 10 years ago, we had a balanced budget.

so it will take at least a decade to get out.

and if we do not get health care costs under control..we are dead.

 
At 5/07/2012 8:26 PM, Blogger Jon said...

"How are you going to get them to go along? Billy clubs."

Hey, it works for your hero Fidel.


I don't remember Fidel bombing an American civilian airliner. I don't remember Fidel invading the US or attempting to assassinate a US president on multiple occasions. I don't remember Fidel spraying our country with chemical and biological agents, blowing up our hotels, and bombings ships in our harbors. I don't remember Fidel scaring parents so that they were convinced to ship their children off to lands unknown just to create terror. I don't remember Fidel murdering people for trying to go into rural parts of America to teach illiterates how to read or to show them videos.

Maybe you could show me where he did that. If you can't, maybe you should look at the beam in your own eye before complaining of the speck in your neighbors eye.

 
At 5/07/2012 8:28 PM, Blogger Dan Ferris said...

Komrade Obama is creating Orwellian enemies to fight wars against. I won't mention others who used this technique to great effect, but you can take a wild guess at a couple of them...

 
At 5/07/2012 8:34 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"hadn't worked in any other country so far, eh?"...

Just look to the European Union for answer to that question but so far, so bad larry g...

"... but many, if not most folks do not understand the difference between deficit and debt much less what "structural deficit" means"...

Well larry g they have only themselves to blame and considering how ubiquitous the internet is, there's even less excuse than ever to ignorant of some of the basics...

"t took a decade to get here.. just a short 10 years ago, we had a balanced budget"...

The Myth of the Clinton Surplus

Entitlements have to go, all of them...

They foster corruption and incompetence...

Two Charts Exposing America's Record Shadow Welfare State

"and if we do not get health care costs under control..we are dead"...

The rising cost of medical care is driven in large part by entitlements...

You might want to take a good look at the charts in this posting: The Unabridged And Illustrated Federal Budget For Dummies - Part 4: Entitlements

 
At 5/07/2012 8:45 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

naw...the entitlement thing is partially bogus.

SS is funded from FICA and while someone might complain about it from a philosophical point of view - there is no deficit.

by law, SS, disability and Medicare Part A cannot spend more than they take in - in FICA - not general revenues.

Medicare Parts B,C,D are 1/4 paid for with premiums.

they won't go away but they may well start charging more for premiums but even then this program is only about 250 billion.

MedicAid is maybe 300 billion.

so SS is out of the budget and Medicare and MedicAid use about 600 billion.

your structural deficit is 1.4T.

Even if you wiped out Medicare MedicAid totally.. you'd still have a significant deficit.

and it will never happen - politically - one of those "downsides" that goes along with representative govt.

health care costs are out of control on both private sector and govt.

it's eating up every little bit of gross product we generate.

 
At 5/07/2012 8:48 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I don't remember Fidel bombing an American civilian airliner. I don't remember Fidel invading the US or attempting to assassinate a US president on multiple occasions. I don't remember Fidel spraying our country with chemical and biological agents, blowing up our hotels, and bombings ships in our harbors"...

Well jon I was alive back then and I don't remember much of any of that happening to Fidel either though the WCPUSA pushed a lot of rumors to that effect....

I remember back in the eighties the magazine Counter Punch was also pushing those stories...

Some of it or even all of it could've been factual...

I do remember back in '66 being in a sailing sloop 45 miles north of Puerto Escondido Cuba and watching two Cuban gun boats machine gun the occupants of a large whaler heading north to Florida apparently wanting to escape Fidel's paradise...

Yeah, life can suck anywhere...

 
At 5/07/2012 8:50 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

Regarding your hero Fidel: "I don't remember Fidel bombing an American civilian airliner."

I don't remember the US doing that either. I do remember the bearded butcher shooting down the Brothers to the Rescue. planes in 1996.

"I don't remember Fidel invading the US or attempting to assassinate a US president on multiple occasions."

Considering Castro is a dictator overseeing an island prison, your comparison does not apply. However, he did intervene in countries all across Latin America. He worked with Marxist terrorists in Colombia. He sent Che Guevara on insurrections abroad in Latin American and all over the world. Guevara finally reached his cowardly end in Bolivia while trying to create a Marxist insurgency.

" I don't remember Fidel spraying our country with chemical and biological agents..."

Again with the Dengue nonsense. I don't know what communist told you that lie, but it's beyond idiotic.

"I don't remember Fidel murdering people for trying to go into rural parts of America to teach illiterates how to read or to show them videos."

I don't remember that either, but I do remember chief executioner Che Guevara's torture chamber and blood bath at La Cabana.

 
At 5/07/2012 8:52 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I particularly object to this chart:

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2012/05/20120503_FedBudgEnt4.png

that claims that the Social Security Trustees are projecting a deficit.

they are not.

SS automatically reduces to math revenues.

there will never be a "deficit" in the sense that benefits will exceed revenues.

that's misleading and propaganda.

what the trustees DO SAY is that if nothing is done, benefits will reduce by about 25%.

we do have serious issues with the budget but the propagandists like to pile on... which misleads people about the truth and about what we need to do to fix it.

that's part of the overall problem in the public's understanding of the deficit and debt.

the propagandists are not interesting in real factual presentations...but more of a gloom and doom..we must kill all entitlements.. which is basically bunk.

SS can go on for 75+ years if NOTHING AT ALL is done.

Medicare Part B - if nothing is done WILL eat the budget alive but you don't have to kill it to save the budget. In fact, even if you DO kill it..it won't save the budget.

 
At 5/07/2012 8:56 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"naw...the entitlement thing is partially bogus"...

ROFLMAO!

Here it is the 21st century and some people continue to fall for that fairy tale...

Good one larry g!

Dream on dude if it'll help you sleep at night...

 
At 5/07/2012 9:03 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Some sources for my claims about Cuba here:

http://bigwhiteogre.blogspot.com/2011/08/our-ongoing-terrorist-war-against-cuba.html

 
At 5/07/2012 9:10 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Hey, waddaya know? Jon's sources are 1.) himself and 2.)conspiracy theories.

That doesn't even rise to the standard of 14 year-old data to "prove" post-Soviet Russia is wallowing in misery in his other "credible sources".

 
At 5/07/2012 10:41 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks: "Oh, hell, I challenge you to go to the bookstore and find a book on economics, full stop. Not having to correct your incessant blather would be so refreshing."

No need - I'm warming up the helicopter as we speak, but I don't know if reading books will help. In any case, Jon is familiar with the bookstore. He is a frequent customer for replacement copies of Chomsky's latest porn. His gets hopelessly stained, when he gets that "thrill up his leg" while reading it.

Understanding economics? Now that that seems to be a real obstacle.

 
At 5/07/2012 10:51 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos: "Henry Hazlitt and the Failure of Keynesian Economics"

By the way, that title is available as a free ebook @ Mises.org. in case you weren't aware.

 
At 5/07/2012 11:01 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Jon is one of those people that had been dropped on his head the moment he was born. Logic, thus, is an alien concept to him.

Larry: I know you are dense, but try and keep up. What happens if benefits stay at today's level? Yes, SS goes bankrupt. Why stop at 25%? Why not reduce benefits by 100%? SS would be the most solvent government program then. Retard.

 
At 5/07/2012 11:49 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"By the way, that title is available as a free ebook @ Mises.org. in case you weren't aware"...

Yeah ron h, I saw that...

I still have the hardback I bought when I was in college...

You know you reminded me of something ron h, getting an e-book reader or actually spemding some more and getting a real tablet...

What to do? What to do?

 
At 5/07/2012 11:51 PM, Blogger juandos said...

jon regarding Our Ongoing Terrorist War Against Cuba, wikipedia is NOT a credible source...

 
At 5/08/2012 12:52 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks: "Yes, you moron. His cat will be able to make excellent investment decisions and I'm sure that kitty's portfolio is bound to outperform. Why, a tree could allocate capital.

You are seriously one of the dumbest things I've ever come across.
"

Now THAT is a really bold statement. :)

 
At 5/08/2012 12:53 AM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

"What to do? What to do?"

Wait till Obama is reelected. Then he will take over Apple and free IPads for everyone. Well, I never said working IPads.

 
At 5/08/2012 12:58 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"the problem with Friedman's policies is that they won't be accepted in democratic societies so if you want them to go forward.. you actually have to subjugate the people."

Democratic societies won't accept freedom of choice? Do you have ANY idea what you're talking about?

You should be aware that there is already one dimwit, Jon, commenting on this thread, and you don't need to pitch in. Why not save your efforts for when they're really needed?

 
At 5/08/2012 1:11 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The only way you could get what Friedman advocated would be to IMPOSE it on people because they'd not willingly adopt it in a representative Democracy."

Wait! Hold on a minute. Are you talking about *Milton* Friedman here? The "Free To Choose" advocate?

Could you instead mean Mao Tze-Friedman, Pol P. Friedman, or even Fidel Friedman?

How is it you think free choice can be forced on people? Please explain that before you continue.

 
At 5/08/2012 1:29 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Mike: "Does anyone happen to have Mitt Romney's cat's number?
My portfolio hasn't lived up to my expectations and I could sure use some help.
"

I believe this is it: 617-555-MEOW.

 
At 5/08/2012 1:33 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"too bad most of you won't even when you're talking directly to others."

You mean you weren't talking directly to Friedman?

 
At 5/08/2012 1:40 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Which state would have none of the above Keynsian problems? Haiti for one"

Paul: "Everybody drink!"

I can no longer see my keyboard. I have to drop out, sorry.

 
At 5/08/2012 1:45 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"About 10% of Conservatives voted for Ron Paul."

No, Larry, conservatives don't vote for Ron Paul at all. If you are going to dabble in political labeling, at least understand what the words mean.

 
At 5/08/2012 1:57 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"But that's what the state is for in Friedman's world. Enforcing property rights. If you want to eat from the fruit of my tree, screw you. Even if the apple is falling to the ground to rot, screw you. It's mine and if I want to give it to you as charity maybe I will. But I might just call the cops and have you thrown off my property. Property rights above all else, and plenty of security personnel to enforce it."

Such hyperbole! I'm practically in tears at the injustice of the world.

If you want some of my apples would you be willing to work for them, or would you just prefer to claim they are common property?

You know, I planted that tree many years ago, and over the years I have worked hard to tend it, water it, prune and trim it, keep birds and insects away, and I've made a modest living selling apples. Do you mean to tell me you believe you can now just help yourself?

 
At 5/08/2012 2:00 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jet: "I'm ready for Galt's Gulch. Anyone have a map?"

Gee, you only need to ask.

 
At 5/08/2012 2:04 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Check Bryan Caplan's "The Myth of the Rational Voter."

Is that another book you failed to read, or did you just not understand it due to your extreme biases?

Your comment doestn't seem to describe the Kaplan book I read.

 
At 5/08/2012 2:10 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "Which begs the natural follow-up question: why do you need a police state to enforce property rights? you'd need some cops, sure, but wouldn't a judiciary be more important?"

Don't expect common sense or logical thinking to help you here.

 
At 5/08/2012 2:26 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Says you. What if the public doesn't agree? How are you going to get them to go along? Billy clubs."

Just the threat of jail time is enough to convince most folks.

If the public doesn't agree, why do you think they should be forced to contribute anyway by a minority or a tyrant?

If those who want to help Grandma includes most people, why do you believe that's not enough, but that a minority of others should be forced to do so?

Do you know what's best for the public, Jon?

 
At 5/08/2012 2:39 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Ford actually provided Ford Falcons in Argentina for the security forces, who would just show up at your house and "disappear" you."

Have you ever owned a Falcon? Do you think Ford was helping security forces by giving them Falcons?

Imagine how much more efficient they would have been, and how much more respect they would have gotten if they had driven real cars.

"If a contingent of Ford Falcons was out front, you were screwed."

You are at least right about that part. I owned several at one time, and it was necessary to have a contingent if you wanted to have one that ran. I was screwed, all right.

 
At 5/08/2012 2:57 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Some sources for my claims about Cuba here:"

Jon once again cites - himself - as support for his claims.

LOL! Nice goin', Jon.

 
At 5/08/2012 3:06 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What to do? What to do?"

I don't know enough to make specific recommendations, but obviously a tablet has a lot of other uses. I have a basic Nook reader only, the e-ink screen is extremely crisp, and easy to read. The battery lasts just about forever as the screen doesn't refresh unless you change pages. It charges from USB when I load more free e-books on it.

Of course I can't do any internet stuff with it, but that's what phones are for, right? :)

 
At 5/08/2012 3:13 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos says: "jon regarding Our Ongoing Terrorist War Against Cuba, wikipedia is NOT a credible source..."

Nor does even that source have much to say about US complicity.

You need to do better, Jon. You claim others aren't adequately rebutting your constant stream of bullshit, but there's nothing credible to rebut, and there's just so MUCH of it. Who has time? Or more importantly, who cares?

 
At 5/08/2012 5:32 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

the cur dog pack up until 3:00am chewing on Jon...

lord....

 
At 5/08/2012 7:09 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Will Rich People Desert the U.S. If Their Taxes Are Raised?

 
At 5/08/2012 7:34 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Wow, this thread has really deteriorated.

If any of you had read my blog post on Cuba you'd have noticed that I provided a source for the claims I made. A book called "Voices From the Other Side." The source is not me, like I'm spinning it out of my head, but a book with references that you can look into if you are so interested.

One other kind of obvious point regarding the need for Mitt Romney. Investors are necessary for the acquisition of capital. Everyone is baffled that I would suggest otherwise. But you didn't add the condition. What you should say is investors are necessary for the acquisition of capital on Capitalism. The unimaginative here can't conceive of another way. They start with the assumption that only Capitalism can be considered, and they hoot and holler when someone makes a statement that doesn't share that assumption. "Don't you know that you need investors for capital?? Yur so stoopid." Within this right wing bubble I maybe sound stupid, but step outside the bubble.

 
At 5/08/2012 7:48 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Of course, none of this answers the question:

Why aren't corporations people? If they can be held criminally liable like people, then they should be treated like people.

 
At 5/08/2012 8:01 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Jon,

The thread always deteriorates when a fact and logic-free monkey like you hops on and starts spraying it with idiotic crap like a stray cat - which is what happened here.

JM,

Corporations are groups of people. You and I and most people (at least once you explain it to them) understand it. Other people need scapegoats and anything they don't understand will do. We tend to fear things we don't understand. Speculators, derivatives, corporations, men from mars - all fall into the same category of modern-day witches. These very same idiots own the shares they want double-taxed.

 
At 5/08/2012 8:01 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

deteriorated?

naw.. this is par for the course for the name callers here...

you violate their "beliefs" and they get surly...

 
At 5/08/2012 8:06 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"If any of you had read my blog post on Cuba you'd have noticed that I provided a source for the claims"...

No jon you provide any credible regarding the alledged assaults on Cuba and Fidel...

"Investors are necessary for the acquisition of capital. Everyone is baffled that I would suggest otherwise"...

Well jon you did suggest otherwise: "However if investors go on strike, no big deal. They don't do anything anyway. We don't need them"...

"They start with the assumption that only Capitalism can be considered, and they hoot and holler when someone makes a statement that doesn't share that assumption. "Don't you know that you need investors for capital?? Yur so stoopid.""...

Why jon is there another way to raise capital that doesn't involve the veiled threat of force if the government wants to practice wealth redistribution?

"Within this right wing bubble I maybe sound stupid, but step outside the bubble"...

It has nothing to do with right wing jon, it has everything to do with basic economics and the free market...

Free market capitalism works everywhere its tried and socialistic practices have have a track record of abysmal failure...

 
At 5/08/2012 8:12 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Juandos..you are correct about the bull-crap flying around here but you are mistaken as to the source of it my friend.

it has a familiar odor...

the "basic economics" and "free market" blather continues unabated.

you are advocating for something that does not exist and will not exist and you call others "not logical".

how can it be that you yourself live in la la land and you point to others?

you yourself say that every single industrialized country is "socialist" and I asked you to name the top 3 countries that best conform to your "free market" views (that you have not already pronounced as "socialist") and you
ROLMAO.

Name the top 3 countries dude that do not offer all that socialist universal health care ...stuff...

I do not think your view of a true "free market" country actually exists.... at all...

 
At 5/08/2012 8:14 AM, Blogger givemefreedom said...

Wow, this thread has really deteriorated.

Jon said: "people generally aren't selfish and cruel, like Ayn Rand thinks they should be."

I've read Ayn Rand and even made an effort to understand her, she never said people should be selfish and cruel! Are you kidding me? Did you even read her works or are you spouting what you read from her detractors?

Ayn Rand was saying that people make their own decisions based on what they feel is best for themselves. Her idea of a society where we are free to pursue our own best interests, without doing harm to others, meant that in pursuing those interests, society as a whole became better.

Individual freedom, given to everyone in society, made society better. It is not cruel or selfish, it is basic human nature to try to make your life better (however you envision that to be). Ayn Rand actually had a stronger belief in the basic goodness of humanity that you do, she believed that left to their own decisions, without being compelled by the gov't, that most people would voluntarily give to help the less fortunate in the society. She believed in a caring and generous society, not one that was compelled through state run redistribution of wealth to be forced to pay taxes to a system that "looked" caring and generous but in reality was callous and cynical.

 
At 5/08/2012 8:43 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Why aren't corporations people? If they can be held criminally liable like people, then they should be treated like people.

Do corporations go to prison like people do?

 
At 5/08/2012 8:53 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Do corporations go to prison like people do?

They can be sued. They can be disbanded (like Standard Oil). They can be banned (like alcohol during Prohibition). They can be confiscated (like any utility company ever).

In short, yes.

All I am saying is we need to avoid a double standard. A corporation cannot be held to the laws of people if it is not people.

Our entire legal system is based on the idea that assemblies of people, whether it be a church, government, lobby group, family, etc., are entitled to the same rights as individuals. That's why police need warrants to search company property. That's why the government cannot compel religious worship. That's why the military can be held accountable for crimes it commits.

If corporations are not people, then they should not be afforded any of the rights of people. And if corporations are not people, then neither is the government, the military, the NAACP, the AARP, the Catholic Church, unions, etc etc etc. Therefore, they cannot be tried in a people's court nor compelled to obey people's rules.

An assembly of people, folks who voluntarily decide to associate with one another, deserve, nay, are entitled to the rights of individuals. The First Amendment is quite clear on that matter.

 
At 5/08/2012 8:55 AM, Blogger Jon said...

No jon you provide any credible regarding the alledged assaults on Cuba and Fidel...

Juandos, I assume you are saying that I have not provided a credible source, correct?

If you have information that Bohlender's book is not credible, please share. The sources he used looked rock solid. Declassified state department documents. Mainstream newspapers. Eyewitnesses. If that's not credible, what would be?

In any case, whether my source is credible or not, it's false to say, as commenters here said, that the source is me, like I made up the stories. The source is the sources I provided at my blog. Critique them if you like, but don't pretend I'm making the stories up.

 
At 5/08/2012 8:56 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Larry,

"the "basic economics" and "free market" blather continues unabated."

Yes, it's quite obvious you consider basic economics to be blather.

Tell us something new.

 
At 5/08/2012 8:57 AM, Blogger Jon said...

In short, yes.

Can you show me a corporation that is in prison? Do they put an Enron logo in prison and call it a corporation in prison?

 
At 5/08/2012 8:59 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Paul, I don't even know why you'd waste keystrokes on such a lame insult. If you are going to be fallacious at least be minimally creative and funny.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:06 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Can you show me a corporation that is in prison?

Standard Oil.

Tobacco companies (their products are de facto illegal. How many places can one smoke?)

MF Capital.

I can go on.


Look, all I am saying is if the Westboro Baptist Church as the right to spew their anti-gay hate speech and give to anti-gay political candidates, then Apple should have the right to promote other candidates. No more double standards.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:07 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Paul, I don't even know why you'd waste keystrokes on such a lame insult. If you are going to be fallacious at least be minimally creative and funny.

says the idiot whose every keystroke brings only more conspiracy theory, apologies for the world's most blood-thirsty dictators and assorted general bullshit.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:20 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Which prison holds the tobacco companies?

 
At 5/08/2012 9:21 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

which prison holds unions?

 
At 5/08/2012 9:23 AM, Blogger Seth said...

"Mike, feel free to tell us about property rights in Haiti." -Jon

From Heritage about Haiti: (http://www.heritage.org/index/country/haiti)

"Protection of property rights is severely compromised by weak enforcement, a paucity of updated laws to handle modern commercial practices, and a dysfunctional legal system. Most commercial disputes are settled out of court if at all. Widespread corruption allows disputing parties to purchase favorable outcomes. Smuggling is a major problem, and contraband accounts for a large percentage of the manufactured consumables market."

More from Jon:
"And remember that when you talk about property rights, the distinction between the Socialist and Capitalist is about who controls the means of production."

The socialist/capitalist distinction is textbook and matters little. What matters is who can tell you what to do with your property. If thugs and the corrupt can come in and take whatever value you have put into your property, that's the problem.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:25 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Yes, it's quite obvious you consider basic economics to be blather."

nope. I consider what SOME here say about to be 100% unadulterated blather cloaked in "intelligence".

I point out that the real world does not work like the economic books.

saying that..acknowledging that...recognizing that.. is apparently not allowed in CD without continuous ad Hominems as "punishment" for daring to question "economics".

I keep asking for a list of the top 3 countries that best meet the ideals of "free market" but I stimulate that it cannot be a country you have previously called "socialist".

or at least explain how you can call a country "socialist" and at the same time say it is a good example of the "free market".

Obviously there is no country on Earth that is 100% free market - and likely never will be.

so "economics" yes... the real world kind...not the book kind..

 
At 5/08/2012 9:27 AM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Jon: You shouldn't be criticizing people for their lack of objectivity. Your own source for your drivel is your (stupid) blog.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:32 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

I point out that the real world does not work like the economic books.

How the hell would you know? You've never seen an economics textbook in your entire life.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:36 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

how the hell would you know Methinks..you don't know your head from a hole in the ground... all mouth no brain...

 
At 5/08/2012 9:38 AM, Blogger Jon said...

What's the solution, Seth? More and bigger government? When taxes are slashed and government is starved thanks to Friemanite policies, the Freidmanites turn around and say "This is why leftist policies are no good. Lax enforcement of property rights."

What I suspect happens, though I admit this is just speculation, is that big business has no problem with their property rights. Hanes and Levi-Strauss have factories, and they have the money they need to enforce their property rights with private security details. The workers aren't taking over the sewing machines. That's the property of investors, and they are looking good, paying laborers 31 cents an hour. Is there any reason for an investor to be concerned that his property will be taken over by the state? Did the people rise up and claim the factory for themselves? No. So capitalistic property relations remain.

Of course the poor can't afford to hire private security, so their property isn't secure. Heritage points to this fact and wants to pretend that Haiti's problem is lax property right protections. That's BS. Capitalistic property relations are secure. Enforcing them though has driven the rest of the nation into chaos, where desperate people steal to survive. "See, they aren't protecting private property." They are protecting it where it really matters as far as investors are concerned. This drives people into desperation and thievery. This thievery is a symptom, not the cause.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:40 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"the "basic economics" and "free market" blather continues unabated"...

Well larry g what do you want to do next?

Ignore or rail against the law of gravity because you might have fallen off a ladder?

Basic economics and free market conditions are blather only to the abysmally ignorant...

You and jon have an expressed inability to grasp simple concepts and I wonder if both of you were victims of this nation's public school system...

 
At 5/08/2012 9:45 AM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

"That's the property of investors, and they are looking good, paying laborers 31 cents an hour."

What is the alternative? If there was higher paying jobs, the workers are free to take them.

"Is there any reason for an investor to be concerned that his property will be taken over by the state?"

Oh ya? What about the Venezuelan nationalization of oil companies? I am sure property rights were protected there. Jeez.

"Of course the poor can't afford to hire private security, so their property isn't secure. Heritage points to this fact and wants to pretend that Haiti's problem is lax property right protections. "
Are you that dumb? Capital can belong to even poor people. Even a dollar savings of a poor person in a bank is capital. Retards like you seem to forget that China seizes such capital and uses it to make loans to its SOEs.

"This drives people into desperation and thievery. This thievery is a symptom, not the cause."
Boo freakin hoo. Cry me a goddamn river. Is that how you justify your rioting and vandalizing of Nike stores during your march with OWS?

 
At 5/08/2012 9:45 AM, Blogger SteveH said...

Isn't the concept of the juris person as old as the Roman Empire? Wasn't that a great innovation. What people can do separately why can't they be allowed to do together?

 
At 5/08/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

juandos.. I would say you have failed to grasp even simple concepts about the real world.

you are mired in some book that does not describe how the real world works.

you have company here.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

When taxes are slashed and government is starved thanks to Friemanite policies

See? There it is again. Where is the leap in logic that limited government = no government?

 
At 5/08/2012 9:49 AM, Blogger Jon said...

What is the alternative?

Independence.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:52 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

See? There it is again. Where is the leap in logic that limited government = no government?

Actually, JM, that's not what he said.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:54 AM, Blogger Jon said...

See? There it is again. Where is the leap in logic that limited government = no government?

That's not a leap I made. Haitian government is what it is for one reason. Outside pressure, whether from the US government or outside investors. When they've made efforts to follow an independent course those efforts have been stopped by our government. Further back in time it was the French government.

What I think they need is independence. When the US colonies tried to make manufactured goods, those moves were blocked by the British. They'd tell us to pursue our comparative advantage. Trap. Fish. Send the furs to England, and in return England will send us the manufactured goods. They had all the same right wing arguments offered here. But when the US won independence we told the British to go to hell. Huge protective tariffs to nurture our infant industries. And our growth was spectacular. Those place that were unable to free themselves of British bondage, like India, remained mired in poverty.

Haiti needs independence just like the US needed independence. All your right wing theories do is make the presently wealthy even more wealthy, and it's couched in terms like it's a benefit to the Haitians themselves. The British did the same to the US and India. In retrospect most people can see that it was bogus. It was really making the British rich at the expense of the colonies.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:55 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

how the hell would you know Methinks..you don't know your head from a hole in the ground... all mouth no brain...

Oh? Whatever happened to your high standards and strict policy of no ad hominems? Except when it comes to Milton Friedman. And anyone else you can't understand.

Tsk tsk tsk.

 
At 5/08/2012 9:57 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

my "high standards" are clear.

you'll get back in you face what you throw.

do you not understand Miss Dolt?

 
At 5/08/2012 10:00 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Larry, when I'm not busy, I mostly play with you because you're an idiot and easily upset.

You're far too stupid for me to care what you think, but it's kind of fun to watch you twist in the wind.

 
At 5/08/2012 10:02 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"If you have information that Bohlender's book is not credible, please share"...

I already told you jon, wikipedia...

"The sources he used looked rock solid. Declassified state department documents. Mainstream newspapers. Eyewitnesses. If that's not credible, what would be?"...

jon you have NO idea what was really sourced or how verifiable the sourcing was that this Keith 'Bohlender' actually used...

BTW the 'wikipedia happy site you're lifting your 'facts' from well you would think the clown running it could at least spell the part time reporter for a left wing tabloid and pseudo professor Keith Bolender correctly...

Being a Chomsky chump is no reason to brag...

 
At 5/08/2012 10:03 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

thanks Methinks.. you're a real peach of a person.. yourself.

but you're not going to get away with your behavior ...you were on MOe last week and Jon this week... you have LOTS of excuses but the reality is what you've shown yourself to be ... and you like to pick on people... not just one person.. but a lot of folks.

 
At 5/08/2012 10:03 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Look, when it comes to enforcing rights, it is far more important to be effective then big.

You can have a million cops on the streets, but if they don't act, then what good are they?

I'd rather have a handful of cops who do their jobs then a cop on every street corner.

That's what this whole conversation comes down to.

If you want to enforce property rights, you need an effective legal system. That does not mean a police state. It means a system, limited in it's ability to abuse power, but strong enough to enforce its rulings.

If you want to create a stable and prosperous economy, you need a system of institutions that will enforce contracts and provide a stable environment, but not one with arbitrary powers.

That is what Friedman is arguing. Read his freaking books instead of reading some blog post about it. Form your own opinions rather than regurgitate someone else's.

All that we are arguing is to stop arbitrary abuses of power, trim the fat from the government, stop making bullshit rules that affect no one and rise prices, and LET US LIVE OUR LIVES.

You may be the Lorax. You may speak for the trees. You may be the self-appointed voice of the poor. You may be the Voice of God, but you don't fucking speak for me. Stop acting like you do. Don't tell me how to live my life, how to spend my money, how to feel about this, that or the other thing. I have lived long enough to make my own decisions and opinions without you clicking your tongue and judging everything. Get down from your ivory tower and be the change you wish to see.

Let me tell you something: I spend my Tuesday nights at the local homeless shelter. I spend my Thursday nights at the local SPCA. I spend my Sunday afternoons, free of charge, tutoring math. I donate nearly a quarter of my disposable income to my church's soup kitchen. So don't tell me I don't care about other people. I just don;t have the audacity to believe that I have the right to dictate to others how they should spend their days. So, why don't you take your self-righteous attitude, get on a plane, and fly to Haiti where your brilliant ideas can help. Because I was there after the earthquake.

 
At 5/08/2012 10:05 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Let me tell you something: I spend my Tuesday nights at the local homeless shelter. I spend my Thursday nights at the local SPCA. I spend my Sunday afternoons, free of charge, tutoring math. I donate nearly a quarter of my disposable income to my church's soup kitchen. So don't tell me I don't care about other people. I just don;t have the audacity to believe that I have the right to dictate to others how they should spend their days. So, why don't you take your self-righteous attitude, get on a plane, and fly to Haiti where your brilliant ideas can help. Because I was there after the earthquake. "

Jon - you're dealing with people that literally don't give a crap ... as long as they get theirs...

 
At 5/08/2012 10:06 AM, Blogger Its GSATT said...

TThankss fo the spel chck Jon.


Oh and it's spelled "John" not "Jon".

 
At 5/08/2012 10:06 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"juandos.. I would say you have failed to grasp even simple concepts about the real world"...

larry g do you get a merit badge from someone or some outfit everytime brag openly about your chronic stupidity?

I just had to ask...

 
At 5/08/2012 10:09 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

nope Juandos..no such luck

there is no chronic stupidity here except on your part..and your cohorts in crime.

I'm on to you and the others and if you want to dialog politely that's fine.

If you want to call names..so be it.

you fools don't really get the real world.. and in CD that gives you license to attack others...for daring to utter than reality.

 
At 5/08/2012 10:10 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Jon - you're dealing with people that literally don't give a crap ... as long as they get theirs..."...

You forgot one thing larry g as long as you're whining: "get theirs and kick you on the way out the door too"...:-)

Sorry, I just couldn't help myself since you laid it out there for a hit...

 
At 5/08/2012 10:13 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"If you want to call names..so be it"...

Its not calling names if the words used are factual descriptions larry g...

"you fools don't really get the real world."...

ROFLMAO!

Thanks larry g, it never hurts to have a chuckle at YOUR expense...

 
At 5/08/2012 10:17 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

thanks Juandos... ROFLMAO too...

:-)

 
At 5/08/2012 10:23 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Look, when it comes to enforcing rights, it is far more important to be effective then big.

Sure. It would also be great if everyone lived in peace and loved each other. If one cop could police the whole nation wouldn't that be grand? But it turns out you actually need more than one person to do the job effectively. Starve government and this is kind of what you should expect.

So don't tell me I don't care about other people.

This is coming out of nowhere. I never said you don't care for others. Your charity is very commendable and better than me. I should do more.

Also, hopefully you won't take this as an insult, but I find you to be one of the people here that seems to make some effort to comprehend what I'm saying and your responses are often related to the discussion. People like Methinks, Abir, Juandos, Paul, and others don't seem to even try to be thoughtful, so they contribute little to nothing. Replying to what they say usually brings no value. So thanks for doing more than your compatriots here and trying a little.

I don't really mind being insulted. I'll put up with it if I can in the process learn something from my critic. But so many here just insult and add nothing to the discussion.

 
At 5/08/2012 10:26 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" I don't really mind being insulted. I'll put up with it if I can in the process learn something from my critic. But so many here just insult and add nothing to the discussion. "

yup.

my view is that with these folks, if you "put up" with it..it just further emboldens them.

they're really not here to dialog or to learn...they think they don't need to learn... so they come to diss others... apparently have problems with the rest of their lives... and need an outlet.

 
At 5/08/2012 10:30 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Jon, everyone here has at one time or another patiently tried to explain basic economics to a you as you babbled senselessly from the Book of Socialist Bullshit before realizing that you're a moron.

Jon Murphy, for his own reasons, patiently reasons with the unreasonable. I'm sure you do appreciate it as it's far more comfortable than coming to terms with your own stupidity.

 
At 5/08/2012 10:32 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Sure. It would also be great if everyone lived in peace and loved each other. If one cop could police the whole nation wouldn't that be grand? But it turns out you actually need more than one person to do the job effectively. Starve government and this is kind of what you should expect.

Right. But you need to find the balance. If one cop were enough, then that would be great. But too much of a good thing can be bad, no?

The thrust of what I am arguing is: let's have the amount of government we need to be effective, no more no less.

But I think we've just about beat this dead horse long enough.

I find you to be one of the people here that seems to make some effort to comprehend what I'm saying and your responses are often related to the discussion.

Thank you. I appreciate that. I try to make comments conducive to conversation, but as you have seen, sometimes my emotions get the best of me.

 
At 5/08/2012 10:35 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Jon, everyone here has at one time or another patiently tried to explain basic economics to a you as you babbled senselessly from the Book of Socialist Bullshit before realizing that you're a moron."

such sanctimonious idiocy from Miss motormouth!

this is the SAME SPEECH that METHINKS and her cohorts utter to their next victim.. last week it was Moe..

 
At 5/08/2012 10:49 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Jon Murphy, for his own reasons, patiently reasons with the unreasonable.

Well, I like to understand where people are coming from.

No one is inherently right or wrong. They are just the products of the ideas to which they are exposed. I like to find out what those ideas are.

Besides, hurling insults about accomplishes nothing. We don't learn anything and both sides come off as jerks.

Jon has read different books than I. His ideas are different from mine. If I did not know the background of this thought process, I might think he is an idiot (and he would be rightly so in thinking the same about he if he did not know my background). But I now know the ideas to which he has been exposed and how they shape his world view. While I may disagree with him, at least I can respect him.

Same goes with Larry. Or Hydra. Or Methinks.

I try to be calm and conducive to conversation. My emotions can sometimes get the better of me.

But I don't think we should shun someone who believes different than I. If someone were to claim "2+2=5!" I'd try to explain to them why that's wrong, but if they don't want to hear it, then so be it.

Let me give you a personal example. As you may know, I am a deeply religious person. I'm a former monk. I believe completely in the Holy Trinity. I do believe those who say there is no God are wrong. But I try not to shun them or ridicule them. If they asked, I'll explain to them my feelings, thoughts, theories, and experiences.

One cannot force his experiences upon another. Nor does violence, whether it be name calling or fisticuffs, accomplish your goal.

Part of having freedom is having the freedom to disagree. All forms of speech must be protected, regardless of you agree or disagree. If we only protect the forms of speech we like, then we do not truly love freedom. Just the idea of it.

 
At 5/08/2012 10:56 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

I pretty much sign on to what Jon Murphy says here with one caveat.

I do not think you can deal with mean-spirited people by turning the other cheek once you've tried and they refuse.

At that point, you have to go back to them...

and I lurked in CD for a while before I jumped in and I noticed the dynamics and was taken aback but I finally decided that to not participate is to let these cowards prevail and even a religious person knows that at some point - you have to deal with folks like that.

" Part of having freedom is having the freedom to disagree. All forms of speech must be protected, regardless of you agree or disagree. If we only protect the forms of speech we like, then we do not truly love freedom. Just the idea of it."

truer words have never been spoken.

 
At 5/08/2012 11:01 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

truer words have never been spoken.

Thanks, Larry. I stole that from South Park :-P

 
At 5/08/2012 11:12 AM, Blogger Bobby Caygeon said...

"Can you show me a corporation that is in prison? Do they put an Enron logo in prison and call it a corporation in prison?"

I can show you many corporations that got the death penalty. Wish you could do that for individuals a lot more too.

 

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